It is 8:30 in the morning, the sun has been up for a while, but the temporary dormitories (set up for Eurekaweek participants who do not have a room) are still quiet. A single student rolls out of bed, past the hockey pitches, and trudges wearily into the shower building. Host Floris: “I heard that things got pretty late last night, so I think everyone won’t start waking up until around 10 or 11 am.”

Rise and shine

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Otto is up early. Image credit: Thanh Nguyen

Otto is up early though. Fresh from the shower, he says: “I I’m sleeping here because I want to keep on partying a bit longer in the evening without having to trek all the way home to Middelharnis.”

Is he up so early because he had a good night’s sleep? Otto: “Well, one thing I can say, you can get used to anything, even this.” He is really only here to sleep: “When I go to bed, I really want to sleep, so I’m not here to explore and meet people.”

A still sleepy Ralph, on his way to the shower, disagrees: “I spent last night on a bed with three girls, it was way too much fun!” Otherwise, he slept well: “When you’re that tired, I think you can sleep anywhere.” His search for a room in Rotterdam is still on the back burner, he explains: “I’m going to start looking, but I’m not in a hurry. I live near Utrecht now.”


Everyone comes ‘home’ at a different time each night. People are still talking loudly at 4 in the morning. “You can hear every sound all around the room”, Otto notes. Fleur has prepared herself as best she can: “I have excellent earplugs, so I don’t hear anything at all.” She goes on to say: “I still haven’t had much sleep, but that’s all part of it. I’m tired, but that passes as soon as I’m with my group.”

Students can arrive as early as Sunday and must leave by 10 am on Friday. Accommodation costs 150 euros plus 20 euros for a locker and 10 euros for bed linen. Fleur has noticed that it’s mainly international students who stay overnight. “A lot of Dutch students ended up going to student associations. That was actually a better plan, because it’s free.”

Set up and taken down in one day

Host Floris has the morning shift today. He is a student at the University of Applied Sciences in Breda and is enjoying his summer job at The Sleeping Agency: “It’s great fun to meet international and Dutch students during a party week like this.”

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Host Floris has the morning shift. Image credit: Thanh Nguyen

The company provides places to sleep at festivals, business events and emergency shelters. “This is the second year we’ve done this for Erasmus University. Last year it worked out really well for both parties. Everything is set up in one day and taken down in one day too once everyone has left on Friday morning.”

Light sleeper

Larissa is an aspiring master’s student and finds the Eurekaweek overwhelming: “It’s a lot of socialising and pretty much partying every day.” A good night’s sleep is essential. Is she able to recharge her batteries for the next day? Larissa: “I didn’t have high expectations because I’m a light sleeper. But I like the place and it’s very close to campus.”

She is also used to quite a bit. She regularly goes camping and to festivals, and has travelled and stayed in hostels regularly over the past three years: “So, it’s right up my alley.”

What's next?

Have the students found a room yet? Larissa: “No, not yet. It’s been super super hard to find a place in Rotterdam. That’s also why I’m sleeping here this week, so that I can easily go to viewings.” Fleur from Roosendaal and Otto from Middelharnis are not moving into a room just yet, but they do plan to start looking.

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